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Guess which game was the best seller in the US last month. If you said anything other than Pokémon Sun and Moon, you’d be dead wrong. Last month, the two Pokémon games combined outsold AAA shooters like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2.
Pokémon Go must have got people excited about the franchise again, because the seventh generation of the monster training and battling game topped the charts, according to the US chart tracking group NPD. Though Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare actually came in number one when counting the games individually, Sun and Moon still come in third and fourth respectively.
Others on the list are no surprise. Battlefield 1 came right between Call of Duty and the two Pokémon games at second place. Titanfall 2 came in at fifth, followed by NBA 2K17 at number six. Despite Pokémon’s high numbers, there was still a noticeable drop of 19% in US sales compared to the previous year. The NPD’s Sam Naji had this to say about the decrease in sales:
The decline can be fully attributed to the top three selling games which, combined, sold 43% less than the top three games from last November.
Its important to note, however, that the NPD does not make proper sales charts public and they organize their list by revenue generated, not by copies sold. Considering that Pokémon Sun and Moon retailed for less than Infinite Warfare and actually cost less to make than Call of Duty, that makes Pokémon’s accomplishment all that more impressive.
Whether or not Pokémon Sun and Moon are counted together or separately (and they really should be counted together; they’re basically the same game), it can’t be denied that both games had a massively successful launch. Naji said the new games had the strongest launch in the history of the franchise, beating out previous record holder Pokémon Black and White by 8%. Even more impressive, Pokémon Sun and Moon wasn’t even released until an outstanding 18 days into November.
It seems that Pokémon Go is responsible for re-sparking interest in Pokémon fans who may not have played a full Pokémon games in years. Many went out and both 3DS’s for the specifically to try out Sun and Moon after playing Pokémon Go. Not surprisingly, the 3DS saw a boost in sales following the interest around Sun and Moon. 3DS sales grew 59% year-on-year, giving it six consecutive months of year-on-year growth, which is very impressive for a handheld console that’s been out for more than a year. According to Naji, the “Nintendo 3DS experienced its highest monthly physical software spending in the history of the platform.”
On the other side of the spectrum, Infinite Warfare sold 50% less in November than last year’s Black Ops III. Still, Activision was quick to proclaim the newest installment in their shooter franchise a success. According to Forbes, Eric Hirshberg, Activision’s CEO, had this to say:
Call of Duty is retail’s #1 grossing console franchise in the U.S. for the 8th consecutive year and the boldly innovative Infinite Warfare is the #1 grossing console game of the year at retail in the U.S.
Although Activision’s CEO had nothing but praise for his own game, this is clearly shaping up into a winning year for Nintendo. With the popularity of Pokémon Go only serving to boost sales of newer Pokémon games, one can only speculate if Nintendo will follow suit with their newest mobile game, Super Mario Run.